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By Georgia Grace, Certified Sex Coach
Ah the eternal conundrum, the need to measure up to a non-existent checklist and ascertain how normal we are in bed. Many of my clients identify that they don’t feel normal if they take too long to orgasm, or they cum too quickly, if their genitals look different to what they’ve seen in porn, if their body responds in unexpected ways or if their fantasies are ‘too weird’. Let me reassure you – you are normal. There is no ‘one way’ everyone likes to have sex – and if there were, it’d get pretty boring pretty quickly.
Stress, fatigue, the mental load – all of this has a huge impact on how much you desire sex. There’s nothing less sexy than the ever growing to-do list. Stress has a huge impact on your mind and your body. People experience this in different ways, for some stress will impact sexual function, and for others, it feels nearly impossible to stay present. For anyone who’s ever been stressed *ahem the vast majority of us*, you’ll know that it can have a real physical impact, like butterflies in the stomach, clenched jaw, headaches, feeling foggy or dizzy. When you’re stressed your body goes into a state of fight, flight or freeze response, meaning you prepare to run away, stay and fight or shut down all together. When you’re in fight or flight mode, your heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing increase while non-essential functions, like desire, are diminished. We have so much research to suggest that mindfulness, breathwork and even pleasure can be useful for those who are stressed. Easier said than done I know. Next time your mind wanders to work or life chores, try to come back to the present moment, take a few deep breaths, name three things you see, bring your awareness to the pleasure that is present in your body.
Recently a client said to me ‘I only desire sex when I’m skinny and look good, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a sentiment like this. As a society we place sexual desirabilty on physical appreance, bodies and perfection and as a result many cis women feel they can only desire pleasure when their bodies look a certain way. They don’t feel sexually confident and struggle to receive during sex. This comes down to a lifetime of conditioning from social, cultural and political ideals – it may not necessarily align with their individual values or how they choose to live their life. If these negative thoughts are creeping into your life it may be useful to examine and challenge these beliefs, having more choice around the things you say to yourself on a daily basis.
The things we say to ourselves have a huge impact on us. It may sound so simple, but by opting for a more sex positive and loving approach we can radically shift how we feel about our bodies.
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